Opinion: Information Commissioner cannot be surprised at partial publication of Motorman files – Brian Cathcart

10 04 2012

The Information Commissioner, Christopher Graham, is angry about the publication on the Guido Fawkes blog of part of the Motorman files (see this statement from the ICO). What he doesn’t say, because no reasonable person could make such a claim, is that he is surprised that this has happened.

Plenty of people have gained access to this information over the past nine years. In and around the Leveson Inquiry the Motorman files are an open secret, with lawyers at public hearings able to question witnesses on the content (though normally without revealing anything substantive to the public). Read the rest of this entry »

Seeing justice done – open justice and the limits of the common law – Eoin O’Dell

10 04 2012

Blind Lady Justice, mural on the wall of the Criminal Courts of Justice, DublinA little while ago, I argued that liberty, democracy and the rule of law together constitute the constitutional trinity on which many modern states are founded, and that, not only are there the traditionally understood strong liberal and democratic justifications for freedom of expression, there are also equally strong free speech justifications founded in the rule of law. In last week’s decision in R (on the application of Guardian News and Media Ltd) v City of Westminster Magistrates’ Court [2012] EWCA Civ 420 (03 April 2012), the Court of Appeal for England and Wales made this point in rhetoric of great eloquence, perspicuity and vigour (though the judgments are curiously ambivalent in their ambit and ambition). Read the rest of this entry »